Mumma Farmstead and Cemetery
Mumma Farm was the most well-known farmstead at the Battle of Antietam and was the only piece of civilian property to be deliberately destroyed during the battle. The owner of the farm, Samuel Mumma, inherited the farm from his father Jacob Mumma in 1831. Samuel and Elizabeth Mumma lived in the farm along with their ten children up until 1862 when the Battle of Antietam erupted in Sharpsburg, Maryland. Unfortunately, as Confederate soldiers made their way across the Antietam, the Mumma family had no choice but to leave and seek safety. The farm was set ablaze by the Confederates, but after the battle, the Mumma family rebuilt the farm in 1863.
Backstory and Context
The Mumma Farmstead was comprised of three separate land grants to various settlers. The largest land grants was known as Anderson's Delight, which was acquired by an Anglo-Irishman who migrated to Washington County named John Reynolds in 1761. As the French and Indian War was coming to an end, a millwright from Lancaster County named Christopher Orndorff arrived in the area in 1762. John Reynold's son Francis had a portion of the property conveyed to Christopher in 1785. In 1791, Christopher sold the property to his father Christian Orndorff.
In 1796, a man named Jacob Mumma purchased the mill complex from Christian Orndorff after his father, Christopher, passed away the same year. In 1805, Jacob purchased 182.5 acres from Elizabeth Orndorff, which would eventually be named Mumma Farm and it included a house, barn, springhouse and other outbuildings. In 1831, Jacob sold the 182.5 acre parcel to his son, Samuel Mumma, Sr. Nine years earlier, Samuel married Barbara Hertzler in 1822. Before they moved into the farm, Samuel and Barbara had five children, but in 1830, their third child John passed away. Three years later, his wife Barbara died from child birth after giving birth to their fifth child Catherine, who passed away three weeks later.
Samuel had to take care of his three sons and a large farm, but he was remarried to his 18-year-old neighbor Elizabeth Miller. In total, Samuel and Elizabeth had eleven kids, including one who died in infancy. Years went by and the family owned a very diversified farm valued at $11,000. On September 14, 1862, when members of the Dunker Church came to worship, the Battle of South Mountain erupted near the mountain gaps six miles away to the east. The next morning, Confederate soldiers started to cross to Antietam, which cause the Mumma family and their neighbors to flee from the area. On Wednesday September 17, the day the Battle of Antietam began, Rebel forces came across Mumma Farm. Fearing that the farm would be taken over by Union forces and would place sharpshooters in the buildings, Confederate Brigadier General Rosewell S. Ripley ordered his army to burn it down. James Clark of the 3rd North Carolina Infantry regiment took charge of his squadron to burn it down. Clark recalled "throwing a torch through an open window and onto a quilt covered bed. Within a few moments the whole house was in flames". It was said that the column of fire and smoke was visible all morning above the battlefield. One Union soldier said, "Just in front of us a house was burning, and the fire and smoke, flashing of muskets and whizzing of bullets, yells of men …were perfectly horrible."
When the Mumma family returned, they were distraught of the destruction of their farm. Only the brick walls and a chimney were still standing among the ruins. The smokehouse was still intact and the springhouse survived, though the roof was badly burnt. The destruction of the farm was estimated to be worth $8,000 to $10,000. Over the winter, the family lived on the Sherrick Farm near the Burnside Bridge. In the Spring of 1863, the family started to rebuild the farm and in June they moved back in. After the war ended, the Federal Government compensated residents on the damages of their property by Union soldiers; however, but the Mumma Farm was destroyed by Confederate forces, the Mumma family received no compensation.
In 1876, Samuel Mumma sold the farm to his son, Henry C. Mumma. That same year, Samuel passed away on December 7. His wife Elizabeth passed away ten years later on August 25, 1886. Both were buried together at the Mumma Cemetery beside the farm along with many of their friends and family.
Rohrbach, Jacob. The Farmsteads of Antietam - Samuel Mumma Farm, Accessed April 28th 2017. https://jacob-rohrbach-inn.com/blog/2017/04/the-farmsteads-at-antietam-samuel-mumma-farm/.
Tour Stop 6 - Mumma Farm and Cemetery, National Park Service. Accessed December 29th 2015. https://www.nps.gov/anti/learn/photosmultimedia/tour-stop-6.htm.
Hawks, Steven A. . Mumma Farm, Antietam. http://antietam.stonesentinels.com/places/mumma-farm/.